Fig. 1The 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) will be coming to McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, September 12 through 17, bringing together OEMs, engineers, designers, and workers from a range of different industries. With more than 2,000 exhibitors, approximately 80 of which deal directly with fluid power (see the exhibitor list), IMTS is a great way to network and build business-to business relationships, discover new products and systems, and brainstorm solutions.

Advanced (reduced) pricing for registration is only available until August 12. IMTS members, students, exhibitors, and media are invited to attend. Individuals who have attended four consecutive editions of IMTS may register as Star Members, achieving special access to the Star Club lounge and placement in an expedited line to ride the Strati—the world’s first 3D-printed electric car by Local Motors,  created at IMTS in 2014. They are also prioritized for a range of other benefits.

IMTS also presents the MyShow planner, a convenient app that enables visitors to organize their schedule for the show. Visitors are encouraged to visit the IMTS website to book affiliated hotels for favorable rates and locations, available until August 15. A shuttle from the hotel to the venue runs on show days.

Fluid Power Conference Covers Energy-Conservation Best Practices

On Wednesday, September 14, visitors are invited to attend the Fluid Power Conference in Room 196A, where six speakers will discuss practices to improve plant efficiency and production. Topics will range from energy-saving methods and hardware to sensor implementation and connectivity in Industry 4.0. The cost for the Fluid Power Conference is $275—a package deal that includes the cost of lunch and access to the IMTS exhibit floor for all six days. Don’t forget to register.

Fig. 2Jon Jensen, manager of the Energy Conservation Group for SMC Corp., will kick off the conference at 9 a.m. with “Energy Conservation in Pneumatic Systems.” He will begin the session with a definition of energy conservation and proceed to touch on areas where it can be applied to benefit companies. Before working in his current position, Jon served as SMC’s North American training manager for almost 10 years. He holds Pneumatic Specialist (CFPPS) and Electronic Controls Specialist Certifications (CFPECS), and serves as an Accredited Instructor for the International Fluid Power Society.

Next, from 10 until 10:55 a.m., Dennis Mell, VP of manufacturing at Nexmatix LLC, will host “How to Fix the Biggest Leak in Actuation Systems,” providing case studies where Nexmatix delivered 20-30% compressed air savings. A range of demonstrations will be used to show how real-time monitoring systems can support valve preventative maintenance by promptly reporting air leaks and number of cycles.

The following hour, Larry Brown, corporate sales manager at Proportion-Air, will describe how inefficient systems increase the cost of utilities. In “Compressed Air—Use Only What You Need,” he will suggest hardware that can optimize compressed-air systems to cut down on the cost of electricity and power.

After lunch, Bob Pettit, CTO at HAWE Hydraulik North America, will present three major topics surrounding hydraulic clamping circuits in machining centers in “Energy Efficiency in Hydraulic Systems of Machining Centers.” From 1 to 1:55 p.m., he will address energy efficiency with leakage-free hydraulics; total cost of ownership; and sample calculation of a machining center, providing animations of a hydraulic circuit to help the audience understand key points.

At 2 p.m., Peter Nachtwey, president of Delta Computer Systems, will discuss ways to control automated transport of heavy masses using proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers with second derivative gain to eliminate oscillations and ensure smooth and precise transport. “Optimizing Sensor, Actuator, and Control Technology in Fluid Power Motion” will get down and dirty, discussing second-order tuning and its role in optimizing closed-loop systems.

Table (top)

To illustrate his point, Nachtwey will create a scenario in the forest-products industry. Heavy masses with small-diameter cylinders in a sawmill will be treated like masses on the end of a weak spring. He will show how the PID with second derivative gain, PID2, allows the overall controller gains to be increased while still maintaining a damped response. In addition, the second-derivative gain adds “addition electronic damping,” which significantly reduces or eliminates oscillations where normal PID gain controllers fail.

Finally, Steve Zumbusch, director of technology development at Eaton Corp., will present “Products and Practices for Increasing Machine Safety and Energy Efficiency” from 3 until 3:55 p.m. His main focus will be on the development of safe designs and features for factory equipment. He will also touch upon preservation of a system’s safety during maintenance, as well as discuss best practices to achieve energy-efficient designs without minimizing their safety. 

Co-Located Motion, Drive & Automation Trade Fair

Five co-located shows will also take place over the course of IMTS, sponsored by Hannover Fairs, US. One of these, the Motion, Drive & Automation (MDA) trade show, will feature power-transmission and motion-control technology, along with a range of hydraulic and pneumatic equipment geared for Industry 4.0 and the future of advanced manufacturing. Equipment to be demonstrated includes compressors, heat exchangers, linear-motion systems, air-pressure regulators and air-flow control valves, predictive-maintenance solutions, motors, and pumps.